It’s nearly impossible to keep track of all the restaurants opening in the Los Angeles area in any given month. Each week Variety’s Devour section adds a new spot to check out, or finds something fresh at an old favorite.
Fresh Classics at Little Dom’s
Little Dom’s has become a neighborhood staple and favorite low-key industry hangout over nine years in Los Feliz, and it recently freshened up both the space — think new tile floors and tabletops, sidewalk awning, and staff uniforms — and the cocktail program. Recently-appointed manager and bartender Cameron Dodge-White has introduced specialty drinks like Sir Connery’s Spritzer, with gin, lavender-infused honey and grapefruit, and the Lost Feliz, with basil-infused vodka, celery juice and champagne vinegar. The beverage list also includes 10 varieties of amaro, served in vintage glassware, and another fresh addition, a sparkling red house wine from Palmina Wines. Little Dom’s, 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles
Rossoblu Revs Up Downtown
Diners familiar with West L.A.’s popular Italian spot Sotto will want to explore downtown L.A.’s new City Market South development, where one of the first planned restaurants to open is Rossoblu. Chef-owner Steve Samson is known for his pizza, but his ambitious new undertaking focuses on dishes from his mother and grandmother’s native Bologna — think roast suckling pig, maltagliati pasta with dandelion greens or Swiss chard tartlet. Sophisticated cocktails incorporate Italian twists like Braulio Amaro, basil, and grappa. The urbane industrial space includes an eye-catching mural, a vast grill, soaring ceilings and outdoor seating on the loading dock of the vintage warehouse. The sophisticated spot is sure to become a favorite of the Russo brothers production company, which is building out new headquarters in the development. 1124 San Julian St., Los Angeles
Gusto Grabs More Space on Third
Compact Italian favorite Gusto is moving into a larger space on Third Street — the location formerly occupied by sister restaurant Pistola. Chef Vic Casanova is adding weekend brunch, new dishes and a selection of pizzas. Pasta additions include pappardelle with oxtail ragu and rigatoni all’amatriciana, while more than 10 pizza varieties will include prosciutto di Parma and sausage with rapini. With olive trees and twinkly lights, the rooftop patio is a romantic spot for sampling a full menu of Italian-accented cocktails.
Bazaar Gets a New Spanish Spin with Somni
Saam, the tasting menu-centered restaurant within The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, is morphing into a new concept called Somni, opening later this year from chef Jose Andres in partnership with ThinkFoodGroup culinary director Aitor Zabala. Saam’s final act will be hosting chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, of the acclaimed Spanish restaurant Mugaritz. Through July 21, Aduriz will serve creations from his latest concept, Topa Sukalderia, which melds Basque and Latin American flavors in dishes like tacotalos filled with squid or marinated pork, ceviches, Venezuelan-influenced egg arepas and Argentine roast lamb. On July 21 and 22, Aduriz and Zabala will collaborate on an 18-course tasting menu with highlights from Mugaritz and Saam.
Craft: A Decade of American Classics
Can it really be 10 years since Thomas Colicchio opened Craft, which instantly became a favorite Century City industry lunch and party spot? Indeed it can, and to celebrate, new chef de cuisine Denis Crutchfield has created a decadent addition to the Happy Hour menu. The fried chicken sandwich incorporates a Jidori chicken thigh, brined and battered with spices including cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper and chili pepper, topped with coleslaw and served on a brioche bun. The fun continues with housemade ice cream sandwiches in flavors like blueberry cheesecake, peach cobbler and mocha.
The sleek new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel has opened at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, offering drinking and dining options including the first L.A. location from Michelin three-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Jean-Georges Beverly Hills features elegant white and caramel leather banquettes, an impressive double-height dining room and a spacious patio — not to mention one of the best rooftop bars in town. California’s bounty of vegetables inspires light and healthy dishes like avocado pizza and coconut chia seed pudding.